'Mindy Project' recap: 'I don't know why, but I still want to hit it'

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Image Credit: Jordin Althaus/Fox

Say it ain’t so, Mindy Project!

Last week’s double header of Mindy was all about secretly kissing one Danny Castellano – complete with a Bridget Jones-worthy ending that made everybody swoon. And last night, things seemed to be moving along right on schedule with our 2014 Mr. Darcy. A happy Mindy announced via voiceover that Danny was sleeping at her place and that dating a co-worker? It kind of ruled.

The opening moments/montage – that featured both Mindy and, once he caught on, Danny coming up with work excuses to bring the other into their office so they could make out — were some of the sweetest and romantic the show has tried. Mindy blissed out with a new guy really is so stinkin’ adorable. Of course, things can go south fast – especially when one person (ahem, Danny) wants to keep a relationship a secret. Have teen dramas (not to mention real life) taught us anything? As Seth Cohen once said to Summer Roberts: “Acknowledge me now or lose me forever.” You know Mindy watched that. 

Problems began when someone robbed Mindy’s apartment (What’s even the point of living in a gay neighborhood, then?), and Morgan, not Danny, volunteered to stay with Mindy. He quickly discovered Danny’s scrubs hidden under the couch, but a ‘Peter’ nametag pushed Morgan to the wrong conclusion. Poor rich Doctor L.

Meanwhile, a new pharmaceutical rep, Mrs. Channing Tatum, swung by the office to pitch something that would let you sync up your menstrual cycle with Sandy Bullock’s. WHAT COULD POSSIBLY BE THE PROBLEM? Well, turns out Mrs. Tatum and Danny had hooked up a year back, and like Everyone Else on Planet Earth, she wanted to hook up with Danny again. (Where were you last week when Danny was making all those booty calls?) Unwilling to tell Mrs. Tatum that there wouldn’t be a repeat encounter, the gang instead created a party at Morgan Mindy’s apartment for that night. If you’re not at Benjamin Cumberbitch levels of fame, good luck snagging an invite.

The party had a farcical edge, with the guys thinking Mindy and Peter were hooking up, and Peter trying to push for Danny and Mindy to own that actually they were, so that he could start teasing them in the open. At the same time, Betsy had a bit of a group announcement: She has a massive crush on Danny! Aww, read a room, Betsy. Also, forward me your diary, because I bet it will be great inspiration for the fanfic I’m currently writing about Danny and cigarettes.

As a Peter-penned last resort at this shindig, Mindy and Peter snuck into the bathroom to try and make Danny jealous. But when they reappeared, everyone was just mad at Peter for messing with Mindy – and then Mindy kicked everyone out of her apartment and said she and Danny needed to have a talk.

Okay: Full confession. I got a bit ahead of myself and assumed I knew where this was going: Big Romantic Gesture-ville. The ballad of Danny and Mindy had only just hit the chorus – viewers still had lots of dreams for them to fulfill. They weren’t even openly dating! They hadn’t even had sex yet! (Right? Maybe? I don’t know.) Surely that couldn’t be it. But, alas, after a fake ultimatum from Mindy (a magazine told her it was a good idea!), Danny broke out the “I just want to be friends” speech, explaining he couldn’t imagine his life without her – and that if they seriously dated and then broke up, that is exactly what would happen. It made sense…but also, really? Have those two watched themselves for even two seconds? Real talk: Mindy isn’t the only one who now wants to decapitate Danny’s head.

From a show perspective, I get why they needed to end things. Mindy Project is officially back for a third season (Hooray! Praise! Thank God! What would I even do with my Tuesday nights?!), and I can see them not wanting to be stuck with a relationship (mimicking New Girl’s current woes) and a drawn-out on-again/off-again. One of my favorite parts of the program is watching Mindy hit it off with a new guy – or attempt to, i.e. announcing her One Direction love to the journalist a.k.a. my favorite moment ever. If she’s coupled up, that’s all gone.

On the other hand, I’m saying all this with the understanding that it’s probably not really all over. You can’t tease the greatness that could be and then leave it on the cutting room floor. After all, we haven’t even gotten a Big Romantic Gesture yet. This whole show at its core is a rom-com, and it’s hard to believe that somewhere down the line one of the duo isn’t going to put it all out there – ideally on New Year’s Eve. Or in Central Park. Or the night before a best friend’s wedding. Or on the top of the Empire State Building. If this is actually the very last time Mindy and Danny ever kiss on the show, I’ll join Cliff’s grandmother and haunt this thing forever. You hear me, Mindy Kaling?

The episode ended with Danny doing a very Mr. Big-esque walk out of the apartment, cigarette in hand (see aforementioned fanfic), before he wistfully gazes up at her apartment window – a promise that things might not be entirely done just yet? To channel one Ms. Carrie Bradshaw: I just can’t help but wonder hope…

If the second installment last night felt like a bit of a letdown, perhaps it’s because love is dead and nothing else matters and my feelings are real. A quick summary: After her husband’s death, Skyler White decided to become a successful – and rich – OBGYN (delivering North West has its perks). Yes, Anna Gunn guest-starred as a doctor Mindy has long admired that subsequentely tried to poach her to Hamilton Health Partners. Mindy considered it briefly (getting away from Danny, who is currently trying to hook up with Peter’s sister, certainly sounded appealing), but ultimately she realized/remembered that she became a doctor because she likes helping people, especially those that aren’t rich. Also, the guys totally need her. She left for like 15 minutes and they were all branded pervs.

Elsewhere, in a medical van, Danny and Mindy had their awkward “I’m totally fine. So fine. FINE is what I am” chat. (They’re clearly not fine.) It’ll be interesting to see if they’re able to get back to their joke-y dynamic, or if the awkwardness of what almost was will linger for a bit. Until then, remember the good times:

-“Let me read the chart first and then I’ll give you kisses.”

-“I saw a headline in the Post today. It said, ‘Newsflash: You’re staying at my place tonight.”

-“I don’t know why but I still want to hit it.”

-“If I saw my girlfriend go into a bathroom with Andy Cohen I’d freak out.”

-“She’s acting like a woman’s job is to serve a man. What is it, 2008?’”

-”Chubster?! Ex-queeze-eh-muah?!”

-“Want us to walk you out so that horny raccoon doesn’t follow you?”

-“It’s like when that telemarketer called me and then I went on a date with him. And then he dumped me, so…”

-“The rich and famous need medical help just as much as anyone else. Maybe even more so, because they all have herpes.”

-“As a woman of color…” “Uh-uh.”

-“I’m not dumb. I’m ignorant, yes.”

Happy Mindy and Danny called it quits so early, or were you hoping for a bit more? Who was your favorite comic relief this hour: Morgan or Peter?  By the by, does anyone know where I can get an Anderson Cooper pillow?

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